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Royals and their exes – and some of them might surprise you

Who else did Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice and others date?

royal exes
Diane Shipley
Diane ShipleySenior Online Writer
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willem marx© Photo: Getty Images

We know and love iconic royal pairings like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and Zara Tindall and her husband Mike.

However, if those couples' earlier relationships had worked out, everyone could be living very different lives today! And they're not the only ones – many royals had long-term relationships before meeting the partner of their dreams, while others dated people who went on to marry someone else in their inner circle.

Join us for a walk down memory lane as we look at the royal loves that didn't last, some of which you might have forgotten – or never known…

Kate Middleton and Willem Marx

The Duchess of Cambridge and Willem met and dated when they both attended Marlborough College in 2000, three years before Kate began dating her future husband. 

rupert finch© Photo: Getty Images

Kate Middleton and Rupert Finch

Kate and Rupert were in a relationship at St Andrews, but went out for less than a year, breaking up before Kate started dating Prince William, who she also met at the university. Rupert is now married to the Marquess of Reading’s daughter, Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs.

rose farquhar© Photo: Getty Images

Prince William and Rose Farquhar

The Duke of Cambridge and Rose were childhood friends who reportedly dated in their late teens. Rose is now a singer and auditioned for The Voice in 2016.

princess anne andrew© Photo: PA

Princess Anne and Andrew Parker Bowles

As you'll know if you're a fan of The Crown, The Princess Royal and the man who went on to marry the Duchess of Cornwall had a brief fling but decided they would be better off as friends.

camilla andrew© Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess of Cornwall and Andrew Parker Bowles

Andrew went on to marry Camilla, with the couple tying the knot in 1973 and divorcing in 1995. The former couple share two children, Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes, and five grandchildren.

MORE: How the Queen reacted to these royal proposals

prince charles lady sarah© Photo: PA

Prince Charles and Lady Sarah McCorquodale

Years before Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales' 1981 wedding, the Prince dated Diana's sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, who he met in 1977. However, Sarah reportedly had no interest in marriage. 

zara richard© Photo: PA

Zara Tindall and Richard Johnson

Zara and her jockey ex shared a love of horses and remained friends following their split in 2003 after three years of dating. Zara tied the knot with Mike Tindall in 2011. 

princess beatrice dave© Photo: PA

Princess Beatrice and Dave Clark

Princess Beatrice's wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi took place last month but for a while, it looked like she might marry someone else. The Princess was in a relationship with aerospace executive Dave Clark from 2006 to 2016.

prince harry cressida© Photo: PA

Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas

The pair dated from 2012 to 2014 after being introduced by Princess Beatrice. While Prince Harry went on to marry a different actress, Cressida married a different Harry - Harry Wentworth-Stanley.

prince harry chelsy© Photo: PA

Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy

Harry and Chelsy had an on-off relationship between 2004 and 2010. They remained close and she attended his 2018 wedding to Meghan Markle.

meghan markle trevor© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan Markle and Trevor Engelson

Trevor is Meghan Markle's ex-husband, a film producer and manager who she met in 2004 and married in 2011 in a lavish Jamaican ceremony. They split up just two years later.

RELATED: 11 hilarious photos of royals at home in their natural habitat

cory vitiello© Photo: Getty Images

Meghan Markle and Cory Vitiello

Meghan met Cory while staying in Toronto, where Suits was filmed, and dated the high-profile chef for two years. Their relationship ended shortly before she met Prince Harry, and the rest is history…

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